National recognition for ‘Environment - The Musical’

Annette McNelis pictured at the 2016 Green Schools Expo in the RDS with her husband Ciaran and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan. Photo credit: Orla McNelis.
Annette McNelis pictured at the 2016 Green Schools Expo in the RDS with her husband Ciaran and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan. Photo credit: Orla McNelis.

A new Inishowen-created musical which lays waste to litter through music was recently showcased at the Green Schools EXPO in Dublin and also profiled on RTE Junior’s News2Day programme.

Kids have great fun ganging up on dog poo offenders and litterbugs in the new educational resource, which is the brainchild of Inishowen compiser Annette McNelis.

‘Environment - The Musical’ is designed primarily as a learning resource to promote the green agenda among young children. It also aims to encourage adult audiences to adopt greener attitudes by empowering children to spell out the importance of caring for the environment through a series of catchy songs.

The unique educational resource allows up to 40 children to engage with and promote environmentally friendly activities in a fun-filled, musical extravaganza. It has been featured on RTE’s

‘Nationwide’ programme and just last week was profiled on RTE Junior’s News2Day programme.

The resource features eight energetic songs and a lively script designed for children aged eight and over. The resource is unique in that it is designed wholly for children of mixed abilities and can be easily taught by anyone.

“Children do not have to be performers to take part and teachers need not be able to sing to teach the songs. Central to the composition is the fact that every child gets a chance to shine,” says Annette.

Easy to use ‘Environment – The Musical’ packs are being snapped up by national schools and local authorities around Ireland. Since it was launched in 2014 there has been very positive feedback received regarding the impact that the learning resource has had – not only on children but on adults as well. Launching the initiative in Annette’s hometown of Buncrana, celebrated playwright Frank McGuinness described the resource as “clear and powerful as a blast from the Swilly - a wonderful tonic for every age, a big, beautiful celebration of all hands”.

Annette, who has amassed more than 20 years’ experience as a creative music educator, describes ‘Environment the Musical’ as a fusion of her “life long passions for the environment and music”.

She adds: “The fast moving storyline provides much food for thought for both cast and audience. It highlights, in a fun filled manner, the importance of personal responsibility in caring for our environment.

“The unique aspect of this musical is that for it’s for everyone. I wanted to create something that every child could feel a part of, so it’s been crafted to allow those with no previous experience to take to the stage with confidence.

“It is first and foremost an educational resource but it has been carefully created so that children can learn in spite of themselves by having lots of fun. The fusion of fun and education inspires not only the children but the adult audiences as well.

“From fun-filled, dog poo finger wagging to getting down and dirty as anti-litter volunteers - the performance urges everyone to play their part.”

She adds: The ‘Environment - The Musical’ pack contains everything needed to put together a performance and it is segmented to allow users to pick and choose certain scenes and songs should they not want to perform the full show.”

Details on the pack, further support and instructions are available at environmentthemusical.ie. Word of mouth recommendations regarding the benefits of ‘Environment – The Musical’ are spreading at pace around the country.

Annette explains: “More and more environmental awareness officers in local authorities around Ireland are recognising the great potential of the resource to help educate young people as part of public awareness campaigns. I’m delighted at the response - from Cork to Donegal and West Meath to Dun Laoghaire, county councils are turning to ‘Environment – The Musical’ to help promote

greener communities.

“Schools, theatres and children’s groups have been very generous in their praise. They see first-hand the great benefits of children learning about the importance of looking after the environment through music in a really fun and easy way.”‘Environment – The Musical’ was showcased at the Green-Schools EXPO at the RDS last month.

“Being a part of the Green Schools Expo was a fantastic experience and a great opportunity to showcase to a large volume of people how ‘Environment - The Musical’ can not only help save our environment but play a central role in our children’s development,” Annette adds. For more information log onto www.
environmentthemusical.ie